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Is My Husband’s Stepfather my Mahram?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

A man accepts Islam and then marries a Muslim woman. This recent convert’s mother remains non-Muslim and obtains a divorce from her husband and then gets married to another non-Muslim. Is this new non-Muslim husband considered a mahram[1] to her son’s Muslim wife? What parts of her body can the Muslim wife uncover in front of this non-Muslim man?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

The stepfather (lit. “mother’s husband”) is not considered mahram to the wife of his wife’s son (who is referred to by the fuqaha as a rabib), regardless of whether the stepfather is Muslim or non-Muslim.  The great scholar al-Bajuri says in his supercommentary on Ibn Qasim (Hashiya ‘ala Ibn Qasim): “The wife of the stepson — i.e. the son of one’s wife — is not unmarriageable.” (Hashiya al-Bajuri, 2.117)  It is therefore obligatory for the Muslim wife to observe the rules of hijab in front of her husband’s stepfather.

Amjad Rasheed
Amman, Jordan.

(Shaykh Amjad Rasheed has spent several years studying Shafi’i fiqh in Jordan, Syria, and Hadramawt.  He currently lives and teaches in Amman.  The Shafii Fiqh Forum translates questions it receives and sends them to him to answer and then translates his Arabic answers and posts them on the list.)



[1] A mahram is an unmarriageable close relative in front of whom one does not have to observe the rules of hijab.

السؤال: رجل أسلم ثم تزوج مسلمة ، أم هذا الرجل المسلم الجديد ما زالت كافرة و حصلت على طلاق من زوجها ثم تزوجت كافرا آخر ، هل هذا الزوج الكافر الجديد محرم لزوجة ابنها المسلمة؟ و ماذا يجوز للزوجة المسلمة أن تكشف من بدنها أمام هذا الرجل الكافر؟

جواب السؤال:زوجُ الأمِّ سواء كان مسلماً أم كافراً ليس مَحْرَماً على زوجةِ ابن زوجته , وهو المسمى عند الفقهاء بالرَّبيب . قال العلامة الباجوري في”حاشيته على ابن قاسم” (2/117) :” ولاتحرم زوجةُ الرَّبيب أي : ابن الزوجة ” اهـ .

وعليه فيجب على هذه المرأة المسلمة أن تلتزم بأحكام الحجاب أمام زوج أم زوجها

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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